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I’ve moved! October 31, 2010

Posted by Just a typical dad in Uncategorized.
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What are you doing here?
I’ve moved to www.justatypicaldad.com
Well what are you waiting for?
:)

Capping Housing Benefit October 28, 2010

Posted by Just a typical dad in general stuff.
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I don’t like dipping into politics as I don’t know a great deal about it but when I saw this article get published I just couldn’t help but agree with it!

David Cameron Announced plans to enforce a £400 a week limit on housing benefit payments given out to people entitled. The current limit is a whopping £1,000 a week for a four bedroom house and an even bigger £2000 a week payout for a 5 bedroom! untill this article was published I had no idea  that there were those sorts of limits in place.

I’m not ashamed to admit I am entitled to housing benefit and gratefully receive it (but I am trying hard to work to get to a wage where I wont need it anymore!) but to put a better picture on it I live in a 2 bedroom house and receive less than £80 a month. I work hard for a living and earn an honest “modest” wage which is enough to keep the cupboards moderately full and the bill receivers at bay but I just need that little bit extra to square everything up!

Theres an old saying that is “if you can’t afford it you can’t have it” (I say old saying it might just be something my mum used to tell me!) which I think comes into play here ( I know im slightly contradicting myself here but I feel if you only need a small amount then surely that’s ok, it’s not that I can’t afford the rent I can easily pay that it’s just with all of the added bills it does become a little tight) but yeah surely if you need somewhere in the region of over £500 a week to help with rent payments then should you really be living there? are you not “punching above your weight” with your house?

I guess really more than anything im bitter that like I said I work hard for a living and pay my taxes and what for? so someone who could quite possibly be in the same financial situation as me to live in a bigger house? there’s something not quite right about that!

I would love to be able to live in a £8000 a month house and have it paid for by someone else well actually scratch that no I wouldn’t because at the moment I have a sense of pride about being able to pay 99% un helped! but the thought of not having to worry about rent payment is a nice one! :)

There are people who have legitimate reasons for claiming housing benefit and this is no way a rant about those in fact I encourage the benefit system where it is needed! but really £1000 a week (sorry im still getting over the shock of learning this)

I also feel that Keeping the old limits offers no incentive for people receiving it that aren’t in work to go back to work, well would you want to go back to work and risk loosing it?

Phew I think that’s the rant over! let me know what you think about it :D

A Different Holiday October 27, 2010

Posted by Just a typical dad in general stuff.
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Its been a fair while since ive been abroad on holiday and what with this cold weather we are having at the moment there’s no better time to daydream about being away!

The funny thing is ive done the “go away to a scorching hot place” holiday and yeah its good but I think im, after something different.

ive always been a fan of cold weather (the snow kind) so I think a skiing holiday would be ideal for me!

Now don’t get me wrong I appreciate a good bit of sun like everyone else but my philosophy on it is when your hot the most you can do is strip off but when your cold you can put as many layers on as you like!

So back to skiing im not a big fan of  long haul flights so I think I would try someone like France ski holidays as i could even drive if I wanted to!

I could picture it now there I am top of a snowy mountain fully geared up with a thick white sheet just waiting for me to glide down! and as I push of I expertly zigzag my way down even leaping over a few rocks as I go!

And as I come down spraying a layer of white gold with every twist and turn people admire my grace and stability! and just as I finish I hit a slope and end with a double backflip landing next to bar ready for a pint.

hahaha yeah right!

I would be like a drunk 3 legged bambi who is suffering vertigo on ice! im pretty sure after I kick off I would end up tripping over my own skis and become the largest human snow ball as I roll down the hill!

but even so its something ive always wanted to try and a ski holiday is something different! :)

 

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My Iphone Vs……..The Nokia N900 October 26, 2010

Posted by Just a typical dad in general stuff, reviews.
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Now hopefully I should be posting a few posts like this  not because I don’t like my iPhone but i think that what with technology advancing so quickly its exciting (well for me and the other geeks out there) to see what each phone manufacturer are coming up with to combat the everyday growing sales of the iPhone!

I do obviously understand that the Nokia N900 might not have been released as a rival to the iPhone but i can hardly compare it to a phone I don’t own can I where would be the fun in that :)

I got my iPhone 3GS about 3 months-ish ago after pestering Emma for about a year and instantly fell in love with it as it was everything that i expected and wanted although as the saying goes nothing is perfect!

Obviously not everyone wants the same thing when it comes to a mobile phone e.g. Emma has a blackberry as it gives easy access to any email service and twitter etc. But for me the main features for a phone are : -

  • WiFi
  • Email
  • Music
  • Apps
  • Camera
  • Looks

 So with that WOMWORLD agreed to send me a Nokia N900 to trial for a couple of weeks to see what I thought! and on first impressions I can honestly say I was a little scared! :)

The last Nokia I owned (and Loved) was my Nokia N95 which i still have in a draw upstairs some were although I think I broke the charging mechanism by dropping it :(

So yeah back to the point I opened up the box to discover this shiny touch screen staring right back at me. I wasted no time in grabbing it pulling the battery out and throwing my SIM card in. Upon turning it on you get the usual Nokia Welcome (the hands coming together) and then you get the set up guide wich came in handy as I had just dived in at the deep end (because im a man instruction booklets mean nothing to me!)

After the setup I was confronted with a screen that fitted me perfectly! it had links to Email, Twitter and Facebook! I will admit it took me a minute to find the menu and other pages but again this possibly boils down to the whole me man no menu thing!

So after conquering the menu I discovered that the phone works on a scrolling screen basis (this isn’t a professional term it’s actually something I just made up but it sounds pretty good eh?) which is basically where you can have 4 screens that you can scroll between by swiping either left or right. Now this is nothing incredibly new I know that but it is very convenient!

On these four menus you can customise to have what ever you like one of them can be completely devoted to twitter the other one to certain apps etc I had one for social networking, one for App Downloads from Maemo and Ovi , one for regular contacts that I text on a daily basis just for easier access and one for photos (mainly of my car crash).

After customizing the phone to how I liked on the scrolling screens (there it is again!) I went exploring! The phone has a main menu with things like settings, photos ect which is accessed by pressing the little squares in the top left corner to which I discovered the downloads manager.

I was quite excited about this as I had recently heard about Nokia  branching out in the app world with the help of Ovi & Maemo and i was eager to see what it had to offer! I should mention that my iPhone is currently sporting 227 apps so as you can see im a bit of an app addict.

So with that I was quickly downloading different apps such as angry bird & a personal favourite of mine an app that allowed me to have a moving background! yeah I know im easily pleased but it really did make me happy having the matrix moving background on when people had a look! :)

I have searched quite hard for an iPhone app to let me do that but as of yet no luck! :(

Using the pointer makes choosing things nice and easy and gives good accuracy! I will give you a good example of this with an app I recently downloaded on my iPhone it’s all about reactions and trying to do things in a certain time including putting pressure on a dot and releasing the pressure (with your finger) when the dot turns green. Now on the iPhone this was quite difficult as your finger covers a large area and nearly all of the circle so seeing I is difficult and yet using a pointer on the N900 was easy!

Whilst i had the N900 I thought I would try out  the 5MP Camera and I wasnt disappointed I knew from experience that Nokia’s had good cameras and this was no different and the flash came in handy more than you could know! I should add that the phone its self is pretty tough too as it survived my car crash and came away unscathed! and in full working order!

Now back to the flash! oh how ive missed having a flash on a camera phone! obviously after I crashed my car it was dark and I needed to take pictures of the damage and without a flash it would have been quite rubbish!

I really enjoyed being able to use the slide out keyboard not only was it a nice change but it looked pretty good doing it in front of people!

There is a significant difference in size and shape compared to the iPhone which I would say is one of its only downfalls as otherwise its a very good phone!

Overall I would give the Nokia N900 a strong 7/10 as the shape and size is bigger than I would want and the range of apps available is tiny compared to apples app store. 

So Nokia I would like to give you a big well done on what you have done with the N900 it really is a good phone with its own sort of uniqueness! but im afraid this time im sticking with the iPhone! better luck next time :)

Boys & Toys October 18, 2010

Posted by Just a typical dad in general stuff.
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I love seeing the way Oli is growing up and how his toy style is changing. I admit shaking a rattle constantly for 5 months was boring. He then went to a stage where everything including my slippers were fun to play with. I remember having these visions of baby born , football in hand a few days later. Not only do babies have to grow for 9 months where the only kicking that goes on is inside his Mother’s tummy , they have another 9 months where they learn to get to grips with this new world they’ve been introduced too.

Thankfully Oli’s now at the toddler stage where he’s discovered toys and how much fun different toys can be.

He’s at the right where we will be buying him learning toys such as the vtech vsmile , which he wont quite realise is a learning toy until he’s learnt. Like my cunning thinking?
I like the way some of these toys are built to be fun but are actually teaching them a thing or two, who needs Daddy to teach ABC’s when that talking Thomas can do it instead!

It wont be long before we are both playing with transformers figures and kicking that ball around the park.

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Another quick pre week brain warm up! October 17, 2010

Posted by Just a typical dad in Fun Stuff!.
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So people I’ve done this before and a few if you enjoyed it so here we go again just a few riddles and puzzles to get the brain going before work tomorrow!

………………………………………………………

1) It happens once in a minute, twice in a week, and once in a year. What is it?

2) If your sock drawer has 6 black socks, 4 brown socks, 8 white socks, and 2 tan socks, how many socks would you have to pull out in the dark to be sure you had a matching pair?

3) Which of the following statements are true?

1. At least one of these ten statements is false.
2. At least two of these ten statements are false.
3. At least three of these ten statements are false.
4. At least four of these ten statements are false.
5. At least five of these ten statements are false.
6. At least six of these ten statements are false.
7. At least seven of these ten statements are false.
8. At least eight of these ten statements are false.
9. At least nine of these ten statements are false.
10. At least ten of these ten statements are false.

4) A man was driving a black truck. His lights were not on. The moon was not out. A lady was crossing the street. How did the man see her?

5) A doctor and a boy were fishing. The boy was the doctor’s son, but the doctor was not the boy’s father. Who was the doctor?

Have fun!!
Oh and I expect a thank you tomorrow when all of your brains are ready for action! :)

The crash October 11, 2010

Posted by Just a typical dad in general stuff.
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Now I think we all knew that it was inevitable that i was going to eventually write about it ive just had to wait for the whiplash to ease (thanks to the pills the Doc gave me) and for the burn on my hand to get a little better before I could type.

So it was Wednesday evening and Emma and I couldn’t decide what to have for tea tossing between the ideas of either chicken curry or spaghetti bolognaise.

Curry would mean going to Morrison’s to get diced chicken and the sauce we like, and spaghetti would mean going to co-op to get mince and garlic bread. Now incase you’re wondering why I couldn’t go to co-op for the curry it’s because co-op don’t do diced chicken or the curry sauce we like.

We decided on curry and at about 7:40 I remembered Morrison’s shuts at 8:00 on most week days so I quickly got my shoes on kissed oli an emma goodbye and set off. I got into the car reversed off the drive and away I went! the trip to Morrison’s isn’t an unusual one nor a non familiar one ive driven it for the past 4 years and walked it for about the past 10!

Its only about a mile down the road with a few curves and the odd round about oh and a couple of speed lowering zones (traffic calming) and it would be these that would be the end of my poor car!

So ive gone over the first round about and im approaching the first traffic calming zone and had to give way to about two cars before I could go through and then I went on my merry way happily singing along to meatloaf as I went. Next comes the interesting bit.

I approached the second traffic calming zone and as I got close a inpatient car whipped through at speed I changed down a gear to slow down for him and as soon as he was out-of-the-way I started to drive through but as I did a 4×4 came hootleing through and we hit head on.

This was possibly one of the most scariest moments of my life so far. I remember certain details just before the collision I remember looking through her window and seeing her face just before we collided it wasnt a face of “oh crap” but more of a face of “whats he doing coming through” mine on the other probably told a whole different story.

I remember me being between a quarter and half the way through before the crash, I also remember that everything seemed to go in slow motion just for a split few seconds right up untill we actually collided and even though everything seemed to be slow I was powerless to do anything I couldn’t even hit the brakes. My final thought before impact was “this is going to end badly”

Then on impact I raised my right hand to shield my face whilst keeping my left hand on the wheel. I got jolted forwards and instantly felt the airbags forcing me back, I didn’t realise it at the time but my airbag had burnt skin of my hand. After my car had span around and my body was back in the same place I got myself together, I then managed to force my door open as it was a little jammed and climbed out, i was followed by a smoke trail coming from the freshly deployed airbags. I rushed over to the driver’s door of the 4×4 and frantically asked if the female passenger was ok.

I had to ask a couple of times before i got a response and I thought that it was just shock but it soon became clear that she couldn’t understand much of what I was saying because she was Polish.

Now please don’t get me wrong i have absolutely nothing against Polish people or any other foreign people in fact I have a fair few Polish and foreign friends but it just didn’t help the situation that we couldn’t understand each other.

So after getting a yes from her i went to inspect the damage on my car. On first sight i could have actually cried (i will try to describe this as best I can). The first thing I saw was the mashed windscreen where the passenger airbag had gone off, I then got drawn to the bonnet which on one side was all crumpled and the other had been completely taken back, The drivers side-wheel had been pushed o par back it was near the pedals and the car its self was just in a terrible state.

It didn’t really occur to me at the time but I was very lucky to escape with what I did as it could have been a lot worse for me, even the police and fire crew couldn’t believe how lucky I had been

At the time I wasnt really thinking about th “what ifs” I was more concentrating that the lady was ok and that no other traffic was going to come speeding along and crash. soon after the ambulance, Police and fire crew turned up and questions were asked about how it happened and the like which I was more than happy to answer.

I then called Emma telling her not to worry and that I had been in a little car crash but I was fine, but of course she was going to come down. I then phoned my mum saying the same as she sorts out my insurance and stuff and well im sure she would have wanted to know.

When they arrived they both did the same thing……cry and hug me! which was nice and sort of what I needed.

The police then asked if there was anything of value I needed from the car it was only then I opened up the driver’s door and saw the mess that was my dashboard and windscreen.

As you can see it wasnt pretty both airbags gone off, no mirror, or sun visor on the left side the force made my cigarette lighter fly out and also a dial for my fans.

It really did hit home how lucky i had been after witnessing this properly.

So after whipping everything out and laying it on the grass I made my official statement to the police and was told I could go. The polish lady had already gone as she needed an interpreter so didn’t need to go I till the next day.

I then made my wy back to my moms with emma and oli.

So that’s about it like I said possibly the scariest thing that has ever happened to me and something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Fo now im just letting the insurance companies deal with it although bizarrely enough she hasn’t contacted hers yet and she had a much nicer car than I did! so I can only but wait and see what happens although I am fairly confident what with it being my right of way and all.

I also wont lie after getting a lift this morning it has affected me as usually I am quite calm whilst other people drive (ive been in some mad drivers cars) but this morning even as we were traveling at 40 in a 60 I could feel my feet pressing those invisible brake pedals and my hands clutching the seat im sure in time this will pass and I will be back to normal.

I have tried not to think of the what ifs as i know they will get me down and upset but sometimes its just impossible im so glad I was on my own in the car as im not sure what I would have done if Oli  or Emma had been there.

I also suffered terrible whiplash over the next couple of days and also bruised my collarbone! but at least im still alive!

Oh and I never did get my chicken!

My Tuesday Rant! October 5, 2010

Posted by Just a typical dad in general stuff.
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This post was yesterday going to be called “monday moan” but after kickboxing last night I was just so tired it turned into todays post and well as I can’t think of anything that goes with Tuesday so yeah bear with me!

My first Rant is about a very popular supermarket that I visited yesterday (im not sure about the laws involved in saying company names when complaining) and whilst browsing around I came across a really nice superman hoodie and as winter has been creeping up on us pretty much since July I thought it would be a good idea to buy it (that and it was reduced to £8….bargin!)

So with that we grabbed some stuff for tea and arrived at the self-service check out (we tend to use these as they are generally quicker and you don’t have to engage in mindless small talk) <— god I really am ratty today! :)

So im scanning things through, as I am useless at packing and I scan the hoodie last and put it in the bag like the machine said. I then blew the dust of my debit card and put it into the machine. After a couple of minutes everything was paid for and I was happy!

Emma then reminded me that i needed to get the security tag taken off the hoodie so I got the attention of the “help” lady and she took the hoodie of me and looked at me and said “can I have the receipt” it was at this point I turned to the machine to grab it and it hadn’t printed one out!

Now I have worked in supermarkets before and have faced very similar situations and quickly resolved them by doing a number of a couple of things (re printing receipts etc). It seems on this occasion this was not the case as when I said I didn’t have the receipt this woman was ready to lock me up and throw away the key!

She stood there for a couple of seconds (which felt like hours) and stared at me blankly. Then broke the silence by nervously saying “I, im going to have to get someone to help”  it was like I had threatened her with gun or something I mean it wasnt even my fault the bloody machine hadn’t printed a receipt!

So she went off to call for what seemed like emergency assistance and along came a manager with what seemed like the same panic-stricken attitude as the original woman!! she looked at me and automatically assumed I was trying to steal the hoodie! she then said that she needed to check the back logs for which items where scanned on that till and that she had to investigate why it didn’t come up as security alert when scanned (this is obviously because im a master criminal).

So off she went to see if she could solve the worlds worst theft mystery! So Emma, Oli and Myself where left sat next to the till where the unspeakable had happened pondering on how hard prison life actually is!

After about 10 minutes the lady came back ( I think she was some sort of supervisor) with the same worried face she had when she left so I walked over and she said “I’m going to have to get the manager” the manager??!!?? I mean it’s an £8 hoody for crying out loud! why not take a chance on me! shop with the big blue sign!

So after again arguing my case and 100% failing to convince them that none of this was my fault she went off to find the boss!

Now I can only assume that the “big boss” of Tes….the shop with the big blue sign lives in a big “batman like” cave surrounded by fire, large 2 headed dogs and a small army of robots as this women took ages to get him and when she did she was very out of breath and sweating!

Eventually after about 25 minutes of waiting (in total) the Supervisor gave the all clear to the check out lady and you could instantly see the relief on her face it was like she had learned that hypothetical gun I was holding to her for this hoodie turned out to be a hypothetical water pistol filled with vodka!…….. it was really that amazing!

She then untagged the item gave it to me with the biggest relieved smile on her face and said goodbye as we left she gave the security guard the nod and we le……hold on yeah! she actually nodded at the security guard to say we could go!   I mean good golly miss molly! really was that really necessary? I would understand if I had gone in wearing a balaclava and had stuffed a load of things in a bag! but for a machine that didn’t print my receipt? i began to get the feeling that security exercises werent often in there!

So after we had left I was driving home and it was only then that I had realised that they hadn’t given me a bloody receipt! after all of that!

So there you have my Monday moan that was about 24 hours late :)

Phew rant over!…..for now :)

Baby Names September 30, 2010

Posted by Just a typical dad in Early Days, general stuff.
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This post was my first ever attempt at blogging on MySpace and i tonight realised that I have never shared it with any of you! there are also two others that I will bring you in time. So enjoy this one from 19/01/2009 :)

Oh sorry it’s so short don’t forget this was my first one! :)

Who would have thought that thinking of what to name your baby would be so bloody hard! ive been sat here for a few hours now and come with barely anything!

The funny thing is emma came up with the name Benjamin and i thought for all of about a second and thought yeah! that really good baby ben! but then she went off it! lol typical. I personally don’t think it will get called benji but meh! hahaha
So we got as far as Mathew and Luke which yes i know are both very biblical names but we didn’t intend them to be so it’s all good lol I still like the name josh but maybe not for this baby lol…. yes im sure there will be more hehe.

So im sat at work twiddling my thumbs and i think hmmm jacks a nice name and then out of the blue hmmmm daniel is a nice name………………. then i said to myself stop thinking of alcohol jon!!………hehe but yeah i thought of a couple which were: -
Jack, Daniel, Joseph, Callum, Lewis and Tyler

Now don’t get me wrong these are all great names but im still not sure and im sure the wife will have something to say about them and some more ideas.
I’m sure/hope in the very near future we will come to an agreement on the name but untill then son sorry but your just “bump” =]

What Has Parenthood Given You? September 27, 2010

Posted by Just a typical dad in general stuff.
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Now I know the obvious question to the title is a baby but anyone with children will agree that it is a lot more than that!

When me and Emma where expecting Oli we had all of these expectations of what parenthood would be like and we often joked about the sleepless nights saying “it can’t be that hard” (well that was mostly me)

But its only once your child is born that you begin to realise that the life you knew yesterday doesn’t really matter anymore, because now you have an extra life to take care of and its only when you realise this that everything becomes real!

Now onto the reason behind this post, as I said at the start parenthood gives you a lot of things like the instant worry for this child that has only been alive for a day!

Another thing that a lot of parents get from parenthood is debt worries. This happened to me when I brought my first tub of powered milk and my first pack of nappy’s I think that bill alone came to over £20! Because I had been used to buying food for emma and me just as and when we needed it, it was a total shock to the system knowing that I would have to make sure there was plenty of food in for Oli when he is growing up!

But with Debt worries comes financial control now I wont lie this took me a good couple of months to take control of but when you realise that you need to space out your money and not spend it on things you don’t need you become in control and this is something that I have never been (as seen in an earlier post about debt).

Now I realise that sounds very negative and I wont lie there are a few more like the sleepless nights (that really shouldnt be joked about!) and also the tantrums etc but with every cloud…..

I think the greatest thing that parenthood has given me is maturity and a greater sense of responsibility. Before I Oli was born I was your just your typical 20-year-old I liked to go out drinking whenever I could, I would spend large amounts of money on things I didn’t need and well I was quite immature.

Since Oli was born that has all changed, I now save money where ever possible, I go out drinking every so often but nowhere near how much I used to, and my oh my havent I matured! It was only the other day that I was in a meeting with both my manager and the MD of the company talking about progress and they both commented how I would go far because i was very mature for my age.

Not many people have ever said this about me before and it was actually quite touching! it sent me away thinking “wow professional management think im mature!”

It has made me realise that with this new-found maturity I can progress through life well and it can lead onto a whole load of new and exciting things!

On a final note I suppose I should say that Parenthood also gave me this blog as before I had never really thought about creating one! and after Oli was born Both myself and Emma created one to share our lives with the rest of you! :)

So there you have it the most important thing that i got from parenthood ( so far) is maturity & responsiblity.

What did you get?

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